Reduce some upper body mass?

  • Creator
  • #49625

    Hi all,

    Sorry I have a bit of leftfield question. However, this forum is always my go-to for advice, so hopefully, you can help… I’m looking for a bit of guidance on reducing some upper body while keeping up the strength. It’s regarding triathlons, but I assume the principles would be the same for climbing and alpinism?

    Here are my vital statics:
    Height: 183cm (6ft)
    Weight: 81kg (178lb)
    Bike FTP: 249 = W/kg 3.07

    From consistent training over the past three years, my weight has dropped down from 94kg (207lb) this has happened organically. However, I’m now static at 81-82kgs.

    I split my year up by ultras from autumn to spring and triathlons in the summer months. This years first 70.3 triathlon is in 16 weeks, and I’m looking to reduce my upper body mass, this has stemmed from being between a Large and Medium trisuit size, I picked the medium… of course:)

    Ideally, I’d like to get my bike W/kg closer to 4 for the summer, so maybe 79kg (174lb) with an increased FTP of 316.

    I think I’ve got a shot at getting the weight down with maybe a slight increase in FTP with a better focus on fuel and diet. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    As a triathlete, I have to maintain upper body strength training, as all the pools are closed due to COVID. So, to reduce upper body fat/mass while keeping lean muscle, should I opt for low weight and high rep or high weight and low reps?

    Any help and advice would be welcome.

    Thanks all:)

  • Participant
    Rachel on #49643

    A max strength protocol (high weight, low reps) will keep you strong without building up muscle mass. It’s more of a neurological training effect. If you do the low weight/high reps you’ll add more muscle mass.

    Here’s a thread that I found informative: weight training intensity

    Anonymous on #49947

    In addition to what @rachelp said, make sure that you have enough volume of low-intensity. I had an upper-body-strong client who was able to get up to 4 W/kg with zero intensity. Just lots of cycling at AeT -40.

    Fletcher on #50328

    Thats great thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it

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